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Lending down again

FIGURES from the Central Bank show that lending to consumers continued to fall sharply in January.

However, the drop in lending to businesses was not as sharp as in previous months. The bank said loans to households were 5.1pc lower in January than in the same month in 2009.

This compared with an annual decline of 5.3pc in December.

Lending for mortgages was down 2.2pc over the year.